WASHINGTON – The Bush administration appears to have annexed a major Canadian landmark as part of a slick new campaign to promote U.S. tourism and welcome foreign visitors to America.
A Disney-produced promotional video released last week by the departments of State and Homeland Security highlights majestic American landscapes, from New England’s colorful fall foliage and the Grand Canyon to the Rocky Mountains and Hawaii’s pounding surf.
Shots of those attractions are interspersed with the images of smiling people of all creeds and colors. The video, “Welcome: Portraits of America,” is to be played at select airports in the United States and at U.S. embassies abroad.
About four minutes into the seven-minute production, viewers are treated to the impressive sight and sound of water roaring over Niagara Falls.
In showing the natural wonder, Disney’s filmmakers, however, chose the Horseshoe Falls, the only one of Niagara’s three waterfalls to lie almost entirely on the Canadian side of the border separating western New York from southern Ontario.
A visitor to the U.S. would not even be able to get the same view of the falls in the video because the scene was shot from a vantage point in Canada, according to Paul Gromosiak, a Niagara Falls, N.Y., historian and author.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack could not speak to the scenery in the film. But he stressed that Niagara Falls “is a shared natural wonder, a gateway for both our countries and anyone looking at the video will understand how proud America is to share it with Canada.”